THANKS to a new deal, the majority of the public will now be able to do their banking at the Post Office, regarding ofwhere they bank.
This will include the ability to pay in cheques and withdraw cash at their local branches but what is the arrangement exactly and who qualifies for it?
What are the new Post Office banking arrangements?
A new agreement has been reached between the Post Office and major high street banks, meaning 99 per cent of customers and over three quarters of businesses can do day-to-day banking at the Post Office.
Most customers can use their local Post Office branch to deposit cash and cheques, check their balance, pay credit card debts and withdraw cash, regardless of the bank they have an account with.
The move aims to give millions of people access to their finances across the Post Offices 11,600 branches.
Is my bank included in the new Post Office banking arrangement?
The Post Office offers banking services on behalf of HSBC, First Direct, Lloyds Bank, Halifax, Santander, Royal Bank of Scotland, NatWest Bank, Bank of Ireland, Nationwide Building Society, TSB, Barclays Bank, Danske Bank, Allied Irish Bank, Virgin Money, Coop Bank, Metrobank, Handelsbanken Clydesdale Bank, APS, ThinkMoney, Yorkshire Bank and CAF.
Previously, only a few banks have providedlimited access through the Post Office, and jus four in ten business customers could use it for banking.
How do I get involved with the new Post Office banking arrangement?
You do not need to sign up or register for the new scheme.
Anyone who banks with the above firms is automatically eligible for the service.
Why has the new Post Office banking arrangement taken place?
The change has occurred as part of efforts to reduce the impact of banks shutting their branches, due to more people opting to use online or mobile banking.
Banks have closed thousands of branches in recent years as increasing numbers of customers switch to online services for day-to-day tasks.
In December, research fromWhich? found that more than 1,000 high street bank branches have closed over the past two years.
According to Which?,HSBCs branch cuts had equated to about a quarter of its network, while the RBS and Lloyds banking groups had made branch cuts equating to around 10 per cent and 14 per cent of their networks respectively.
Nick Kennett, chief executive of Post Office Financial Services, said: Access to cash plays a vital role in many local communities, acting as the lifeblood to consumers and small businesses.
How can I find my local Post Office branch?
The Post Office currently has 11,600 branches and claims that 99.7 per cent of the population live within three miles of one.
You can find your nearest Post Office by using thePost Office branch finder.
Over 4,000 open on a Sunday and many have extended opening hours.
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